Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday he plans to temporarily set aside his allegiance to his beloved Montreal Canadiens so he can cheer on the Ottawa Senators this weekend, urging fellow hockey fans across the country to join him.
"I think all Canadians will be rooting for the final Canadian team in the Stanley Cup playoffs," Trudeau said during a news conference in Brampton, Ontario.
The Ottawa Senators, who face the Pittsburgh Penguins starting Saturday, were left standing alone after the Edmonton Oilers suffered a narrow Game 7 loss earlier this week to the Anaheim Ducks.
"We’re all happy to support Ottawa right now," Trudeau said. "Even Torontonians and Montrealers can agree on this particular one."
Coach Guy Boucher hadn’t heard what Trudeau said but the Senators will take all the support they can get.
"I think that’s great," said Boucher. "Canada is such a hockey country and it means so much to everybody here that it’s great to have at least one Canadian team left in the race. Our fans have been terrific all year long and in the playoffs they’ve been unbelievable. The more that jump on the wagon, the better. I think it’s exciting for Canadians to still have a Canadian team in the mix."